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Joe's 2020 Book Cafe 10

This is a continuation of the topic Joe's 2020 Book Cafe 9.

75 Books Challenge for 2020

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Edited: Jun 20, 2:06pm Top

This is a favorite artist of mine, Takehiko Inoue, whose Vagabond series based on the life of Miyamoto Musashi is beautifully drawn and (graphic novel) written. Much of it is in black and white.

Welcome back to the cafe!

Edited: Yesterday, 2:41pm Top

Books Read in 2020


1. Equinoxes by Cyril Pedrosa*
2. American Spy by Lauren Wilkerson
3. Indecency by Justin Phillip Reed
4. A Handmaid's Tale Graphic by Renee Nault and Margaret Atwood*
5. The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
6. Dream Within a Dream by Patricia MacLachlan
7. Deep Creek by Pam Houston
8. Due Diligence by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
9. Wandering Star by Teri S. Wood*
10. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoetby David Mitchell
11. The Black God's Drums by p. Dejeli Clark


12. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
13. The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McGinty
14. For Kicks by Dick Francis
15. The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
16. Into the Fire by Gregg Hurwitz
17. Golden in Death by J.D. Robb
18. Into the Frame by Dick Francis
19. I Hear the sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinty
20. Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty
21. A Bride’s Story Vol. 11 by Kaoru Mori*
22. In the Morning I'll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty


23. Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty
24. Brave by Svetlana Chmakova*
25. John Constantine Hellblazer The Family Man by Jamie Delano and Neil Gaiman*
26. Only the End of the World by Neil Gaiman*
27. Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg
28. Almost American Girl by Robin Ha*
29. Curious Toys by Elizabeth Hand
30. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Saenz
31. Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg*
32. Riceland by CL Bledsoe
33. Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles
34. Police at the Station by Adrian McKinty
35. Knockdown by Dick Francis
36. Long Range by C. J. Box
37. Dull Knife by C.J. Box
38. The Gate That Locks the Tree by Sharon Lee
39. Murder in Deep Regret by Anne Cleeland
40. Best Friends by Shannon Hale
41. Poems to See By by Julian Peters*
42. Dragon Tide by Sharon Lee
43. The Master Falconer by C.J. Box


44. Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre
45. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
46. Only As The Day Is Long by Dorianne Laux
47. An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo
48. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
49. The Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
50. Broken Places & Outer Spaces by Nnedi Okorafor
51. Hard Damage by Aria Aber
52. Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
53. Slant Six by Erin Belieu
54. Pardon My Heart by Marcus Jackson
55. Spying on the South by Tony Horwitz
56. Harleen by Stjepan Sejic*
57. The Sandman Mystery Theater Book Two by Matt Wagner*
58. The Safety Net by Andrea Camilleri


59. The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
60. Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod by Traci Brimhall
61. Why I Never Finished My Dissertation by Laura Foley
62. Network Effect by Martha Wells
63. Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
64. Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
65. Bloodsport by Dick Francis
66. IQ by Joe Ide
67. Black Water Rising by Attica Locke
68. Flying Finish by Dick Francis
69. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
70. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
71. Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
72. Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit


73. Smokescreen by Dick Francis
74. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
75. The Yellow House by Sarah Broom
76. Righteous by Joe Ide
77. Sabrina and Corina by Kali Fajado Anstine
78. Into the Fire by Gregg Hurwitz
79. The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
80. Beach Read by Emily Henry


81. Kindest Regards: Selected and New Poems by Ted Kooser
82. Blanche on the Lam by Natalie Berry
83. Blanche Among the Talented Tenth by Natalie Berry
84. Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang*
85. Border Worlds by Don Simpson
86. Deacon King King by James McBride
87. No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay

Illustrated Books

1. Birdsong by Julie Flett
2. Paper Girls Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughn
3. I Love This Part by Tillie Walden
4. Door by JiHyeon Lee
5. Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson
6. The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan
7. The Master and Margarita Graphic Novel by Andzej Klimowski
8. Monstress Vol. 4 by Marie Liu
9. Ms. Marvel Vol. 10 by G. Willow Wilson
10. Swimming in Darkness by Lucas Harari
11. Dr. Who: The Betrothal of Sontar by Gareth Roberts
12. Constantine Hellblazer by Jaime Delano
13. Hawkeye Avenging Archer by Jim McCann
14. Monet Itinerant of Light by Salva Rubio
15. Dr. Who: The Tenth Doctor The Fountains of Forever by
Nick Abadzis
16. When I Arrived at the Castle by Emily Carroll
17. Literary Life by Posy Simmonds
18. Blade Runner 2019 by Michael Green
19. Username: Uprising by Joe Sugg
20. Daredevil Mayor Murdock by Charles Soule
21. Lazarus Six by Greg Rucka
22. Shuri 24/7 Vibranium by Nnedi Okorafor
23. Orphan Black by John Fawcett
24. Likely Stories by Neil Gaiman
25. Firefly The Unification War Part Two by Greg Pak
26. Coda by Simon Spurrier
27. Jerome K. Jerome Bloche by Dodier
28. Username Uprising by Joe Sugg
29. Angel City: Town without Pity by Janet Harvey
30. Normandy Gold by Megan Abbott
31. Jerome K. Jerome Bloche Paper People by Dodier
32. Hit 1957 by Bryce Carlson
33. Hard-Boiled Angel Blue Angel by Hyun Se Lee
34. Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
35. The Trial of Sherlock Holmes by Leah Moore
36. Agatha: The Real Life by Anne Martinetti
37. The Seventh Voyage by Jon J Muth
38. Hit 1955 by Bryce Carlson
39. Area 10 by Christos Gage


Edited: Jun 20, 1:14pm Top

Favorites From 2019

Top Book

A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

Favorite Graphic Work

Good Talk by Mira Jacob

Favorite Poetry Collection

Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson

Edited: Jun 20, 12:30pm Top

Edited: Jun 20, 12:51pm Top

Favorite Poets Who Have a Big Body of Work

Some of my favorites are young and haven't really written enough yet, like Tracy K. Smith and Ada Limon.

These poets really connect for me, and I find myself re-reading them.

T.S. Eliot
Sharon Olds
Han Shan (Cold Mountain)
Billy Collins

Next 5 would be:

Adrienne Rich
Mary Oliver
Tony Hoagland
Charles Simic
Wallace Stevens

Seamus Heaney would have to be in there, too. I also love Berryman, Kinnell, Auden, Ted Hughes, Wisława Szymborska, Neruda and Dylan Thomas.

Edited: Jun 20, 12:50pm Top

Favorite Buddhism Book:

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki. It starts something like, "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's there are few."

Favorite Buddhist Novel

Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo. Eccentric road trip with a monk and plenty of Americana.

Best Beginner's Book

Buddhism: Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen. Practical guide.

Favorite NF Overview of Buddhism

Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright. He convincingly explains why, using common sense examples, scientific studies, and other research.

Best Buddhist Book That Isn't Buddhist

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, translated by Stephen Mitchell

Good Graphic Guide

A quick and easy overview.

Edited: Jun 20, 2:21pm Top

Another by Takehiko Inoue

Jun 20, 1:59pm Top

>4 jnwelch: *baaawww* Such a punkin preshus!!

Happy new thread, Joe, and have some shareable Cheryl's Classic Cookies:

Jun 20, 2:13pm Top

Happy new one, Joe!

Jun 20, 2:29pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe!

Jun 20, 3:52pm Top

Happy new thread Joe!

Jun 20, 4:01pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe. Your grandkids put a big smile on my face.

Edited: Jun 20, 5:44pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe. Surely there must be some *new* photos from the current visit?? ;-)

Thanks for the cookies, Richard. So much for supper...

Jun 20, 6:42pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe!

Lovely pictures of your grandchildren!

Jun 20, 7:37pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe! Lovely artwork, and great photos of the grands. The one of Rafa is just a great picture all around, I love how his face is framed and hands are blurred.

By the way, as I was scrolling through your list, I noted Billy Collins as one of your favorite poets - did you know he's coming out with a new collection, Whale Day, in September?

Edited: Jun 21, 12:27am Top

Happy new thread! The Musashi art is amazing.

>4 jnwelch: What delightful pictures. Such treasures as those two are so precious.

Jun 20, 11:07pm Top

Love the photo of Rafa reaching up for the new thread.

Happy new one, Joe.

Jun 20, 11:09pm Top

Happy new one

Jun 20, 11:17pm Top

Happy New Thread, Joe, and here are some energy whammos to help with dealing with the grands!

Jun 21, 2:53am Top

Happy new thread Joe!

You can see Rafa and Fina are related. Cute (as always)!

I see you've blown past 75. Congratulations!

Jun 21, 5:59am Top

I love the GN artwork and the lovely photos of the grands. Do you have a wall covered with photos of them yet? My aunt had a lovely "brag book" of her grandkids a few years ago, full of beautiful pictures she could pull out on unsuspecting visitors. I guess now they'd all be on the phone though!

Edited: Jun 21, 7:34am Top

Happy New Thread, Joe! LOVE the Rafa and Fina toppers! Congrats on surpassing 75! I am just a few behind you. I hope you enjoyed Sabrina & Corina as much as I did. Have a great Dad's Day.

Jun 21, 8:29am Top

Morning, Joe!

I love the graphic novel photos - I'll have to add that one to the list!

Jun 21, 8:39am Top

>15 bell7: Thanks, Mary! Isn't that a great picture of Rafa? It rivals the one of him in a bear costume from way back when. Maybe I'll find that one and re-post it.

Yes, I love Billy Collins. I did know about Whale Day - during the pandemic, he started doing an informal set of readings on Youtube, from his own writing and ones from other poets. Really good!

Jun 21, 9:11am Top

Hi Joe! Happy new thread, Happy Father's Day, happy Sunday.

Jun 21, 9:47am Top

Happy Father's Day, Joe.

Jun 21, 11:49am Top

Happy Father's Day, Joe!!

Jun 21, 1:01pm Top

Happy Father's Day and hope you are ALL celebrating together!

Jun 21, 3:58pm Top

Happy new thread mate and a Happy Father's Day dear friend.

Jun 22, 8:08am Top

>8 richardderus: Ha! You'd think so even more in person, Richard. They're not low maintenance, but they sure are cute!

Thanks for the goodies, and a tip of the hat to Cheryl, who I want to come to know.

>9 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie!

>10 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda!

>11 NarratorLady: Thanks, Anne! We're stumbling around a bit with sleepiness, but seem to continue to do the right thing with the right grandkid.

>12 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. Oh good. Those grandkids put big smiles on our faces, too.

Jun 22, 8:14am Top

>13 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. You'll unfortunately have to wait until after the visit to see photos. I'm amazed and happy that I got this new thread up that fast. Wait, do I hear some little person crying?

>14 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! Rafa and Fina are having a grand time with their grandparents.

>15 bell7: Hi, Mary. I'm glad you like the artwork, and the Rafa photo. His friend/nanny Heather is an ace photographer, and we benefit with some great photos like that one.

I responded on Billy Collins somewhere up there. Can't wait for Whale Day!

Jun 22, 8:39am Top

>16 quondame: Thanks, Susan! Isn't that Musashi (Takehiko Inoue) art amazing! His ability with detail in black and white knocks me over.

We're having a great time with those two treasures up in >4 jnwelch:. And when they smile, oh my.

>17 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. Isn't that a great photo of Rafa? I'm sure it's one from his ace photographer nanny.

>18 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita.

>19 ronincats: Thanks, Roni, and we'll gladly accept some energy whammos! Keeping up with these two is a challenge. Diaper tales are TMI, but let's just say one of them now likes to let loose again when she feels her diaper come off. What a delightful trick. She certainly enjoys it.

Edited: Jun 22, 11:04am Top

>20 humouress: Thanks, Nina. Yes, Fina is looking more like Rafa now. And, surprisingly, like one of my sisters when she was this age. We're getting a kick out of it.

Thanks re the 75. It's been a good reading year despite the complexity of this time we're in. That Sabrina & Corina was as good as Mark and Ellen said.

Jun 22, 11:03am Top

>31 jnwelch: You did, and I saw it :D I'll have to look for his videos on YouTube, thanks for passing that on! My parents are down to my sister's this weekend, and I'm looking forward to hearing their stories and updated photos of the kids when they get back. So. Much. Energy. But a blast at that age, no?

Jun 22, 1:52pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jun 22, 5:01pm Top

>21 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. I'm glad you like that GN artwork - he's so good! I don't know whether the samurai stories would work for you, but the artwork is outstanding. And thanks re the photos of the grands.

You're right re the phone - Debbi will pull hers out with photos and videos at the slightest expression of interest. We have framed photos of them on tables and shelves all over the house, particularly 2 year old Rafa. It'll take a while for 5 month old Fina to catch up.

>22 msf59: Hiya, Mark. Thanks, man. I think I probably did enjoy Sabrina & Corina as much as you did, although I finished it in a sleep-deprived state. Really good collection. My heart went out to little Tomio in particular.

>23 scaifea: Morning/Afternoon, Amber! Oh good, I'm glad you like the GN artwork. Try Vagabond Volume 1 and, if you like it, you're off and running.

Edited: Jun 22, 6:37pm Top

>25 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Thanks for the Happies. It was a very good Father's Day indeed, with both son and daughter back with us, and those two groovy grandkids.

>26 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. Do you have a Father's Day in Malaysia? If so, happy wishes for it whenever it is.

>27 lindapanzo: Thanks, Linda! This was quite a special one.

>28 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne! We were all together on Father's Day, and it was a fun time, starting with a delivered brunch from a local restaurant/deli.

>29 johnsimpson: Thanks, buddy. Do you all celebrate a Father's Day? Happy wishes to you if so.

>34 bell7: Good, Mary. So. much. energy! And yes, they're a blast, these two. I hope your folks bring back photos and stories of the little ones on your end.

>35 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

Edited: Jun 22, 7:03pm Top

A rare blue roan

Edited: Jun 22, 7:05pm Top

Jun 22, 8:53pm Top

>39 jnwelch: That must represent 90% of the planet's population of luters!

Jun 23, 6:42am Top

Morning, Joe. Happy Tuesday. I am looking forward to a shortened work week. Going up to the boat, with Bree & Sean this weekend, in WI. I am having a good time with my current reads- One Long River of Song and on audio, The Mirror & the Light. I think you would like the essay collection.

Jun 23, 4:13pm Top

Today’s Bargains: Kite Runnerby Khaled Hosseini and Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat are both available on e-readers for $1.99. Both are excellent.

Jun 23, 4:15pm Top

>37 jnwelch:

A catered Father's Day Brunch delivered to your home - tell us more!

Jun 23, 6:59pm Top

>40 richardderus: You'd be surprised, RD. When times are tough and there's a bit of madness in the air, a lot of people turn to luting.

>41 msf59: Morning/evening, Mark. Happy Tuesday, buddy. You would've enjoyed our venue today - we took the wee ones to LaBagh Woods. Rafa loved it, and didn't need to be carried, and Fina had a very satisfying nap on me while we hiked around.

Sounds like a great weekend with the boat in Wi and Bree and Sean. I'm intrigued by the Brian Doyle book, and good for you for finishing out the Hilary Mantel trilogy. With reading moments scarce, I'm spending time with Blanche on the Lam, recommended by RD, and The Jane Austen Society, which I started before this visit.

>43 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. We have a newish deli restaurant near us called Steingold's, which we hadn't had a chance to try. They deliver. We variously had eggs and cheese on challah, asiago, sesame and salt bagels with cream cheese, lattes and other drinks, and for dessert a Father's Day cake that Debbi baked and Rafa and his Dad decorated with turtles and other designs. Rafa's big on "ovals" right now, so there were some of those. Delish.

Jun 24, 8:00am Top

>44 jnwelch: yum, Father's Day lunch sounds good Joe. I hope we get photos in time, especially of the cake.

Jun 24, 10:05am Top

>45 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. There’s a cute one of Papa and son decorating the cake that I’ll find and post once the little gremlins have vacated the premises.

Jun 24, 11:48am Top

Today’s Bargain: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor for 99 cents on e-readers. What?! 99 cents?! Try this cool sci-fi novella.

Jun 24, 12:58pm Top

>44 jnwelch: That sounds like a nice day out with the grandkids. I hope you had a baby carrier for Fina; babies seem to triple in weight when they're asleep. Of course, when they're awake they're so wriggly that it takes three times the energy not to drop them, too.

Edited: Jun 24, 6:04pm Top

>48 humouress: It was a nice day with the grandkids, thanks, Nina. We did have a baby carrier, thank goodness. That Fina may be destined for a professional wrestling career. She's a wriggly one, too (as is Rafa), so dressing either of them is a challenge.

I told Debbi we'll need to find a new baby carrier to strap on me for next time. This one provides no support, and leaves my back complaining.

Edited: Jun 24, 6:01pm Top

Jun 24, 6:59pm Top

>50 jnwelch: I remember when we visited New Zealand a few years ago, Joe, we went to Lake Tekapo and, on a cool Autumnal evening, lay on the grass looking up in wonder at the Southern Lights. It even made Belle a tad philosophical.

Jun 24, 9:21pm Top

>50 jnwelch: Somehow I doubt it...but one can surely hope.

Jun 25, 12:41am Top

>50 jnwelch: And these days, with less pollution in the air, I can actually see stars in Singapore! I'm so happy.

Our trip to Hawai'i six months ago (so long?) was in a large part due to the fact I wanted to show the kids the wealth of stars. They deliberately keep the night skies dark over the Big Island so the observatories there can see the stars more easily. I confess at least a couple of us were in tears when we made our trip to Mauna Kea and had a crash course in identifying stars.

Jun 25, 7:03am Top

Morning, Joe. Sweet Thursday! ^This is my female RBH. It is always a challenge to get a photo of these guys, because they may only land for a few seconds. I hope to get a shot of the male, but he only pops in now and then.

Getting ready to head out on my solo bird ramble. The summer tanager (lifer) and male blue grosbeak, are my target birds.

I am so glad you brought the kids to Labagh Woods. How fun. Did you know that they opened up Montrose too?

Jun 26, 12:50pm Top

Happy new cafe, Joe.

>4 jnwelch: - Look at those happy, smiling faces! So sweet!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Jun 26, 8:54pm Top

Hard to believe you are already on your 10th thread for the year.

>50 jnwelch: Always loved Calvin & Hobbes

Jun 27, 8:26am Top

Hi, everyone.

The grandkiddoes get in the car to take their parents home in an hour or so. I'll be back on either later today or tomorrow. Hope you're all having a good weekend.

Jun 27, 2:03pm Top

>4 jnwelch: 😍😍😍

Jun 27, 6:56pm Top

I have been on a murder mystery, detective/spy thriller reading binge in the last two months and today I finished another murder mystery. City of Windows by Robert Pobi was a book I learned about a couple of weeks ago in an online webinar for librarians. When our public library reopened I went and got the book and chomped through it this week. This one is the first in this series. Book 2 comes out in July. It was a good breakfast patio book.

Jun 27, 7:59pm Top

>50 jnwelch: Love this!

Edited: Jun 28, 9:27am Top

>51 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul. Man, I'd love to visit New Zealand. We made it to the east coast of Australia several years ago, but not NZ. Laying on the grass by Lake Tekapo on a cool autumn night, looking up at the Southern Lights, sounds all-embracing.

We did get to give our city kids a surprise in the desert by Uluru, with a nighttime dinner. They were looking around us at ground level, but then we told them to look up. The stars were everywhere, hanging above us about 20 feet up (or so it seemed). The look of wonder on their faces lit up Debbi's and my heart.

Edited: Jun 28, 9:47am Top

>52 richardderus: I think we'd have more poets and scientists if we did as Calvin suggests, Richard. And the rest would look at their smallish (in context of the universe) lives with a bit more perspective, don't you think?

>53 humouress: Oh, that's great to hear, Nina, re the starry sky in Singapore. The reduction in air pollution in so many places is one of the few silver linings to the pandemic, isn't it.

I hadn't thought of the dark night skies in connection with Hawai'i. That's great to hear. You're the first person who's made visiting there intriguing to me. We know so many people who love it there, but it's never drawn Debbi and me.

We had the same desire to show our kids the wealth of stars down in Australia. City lights block out so much.

>54 msf59: Sweet Thursday/Happy Sunday, Mark! Thanks for stopping by when I was incommunicado. I know you're up on a boat in Wisconsin right now enjoying the good life. It looked peaceful and rewarding on Facebook.

Nice shot of your female RBH. You must be happy about the way your bird photo'ing has progressed. I know at some point I'm going to see you with one of those two foot lenses that other birders use. I wish I'd had one with that Cooper Hawk nest in our neighborhood that I tagged you on - we saw the nest and the mother, but the four hawklets were out practicing their flying and hunting, I guess. With my phone camera the nest just didn't show up well enough among the tree limbs for a photo to be worthwhile.

I hope you've been having good bird rambles. I didn't know Montrose Harbor was opened up. Is it still good for birding, or have they moved on?

Oh, I just finished Yang's Dragon Hoops. Definitely worth picking up from the library. He tells a good story based on his life in the high school where he taught, and the state championship-caliber team there. Not a shortie!

Jun 28, 10:00am Top

>61 jnwelch: I see the Milky Way! Now I know what to look for after our short lesson on Mauna Kea.

Sadly it looks like the orange night skies are creeping back.

>62 jnwelch: When I go to visit my parents in Sydney I'm amazed and humbled to be able to look up and up into the deep skies, as I remember doing in my childhood.

Jun 28, 11:35am Top

>63 humouress: Ah, lucky you, Nina. I'd love to be able to see the Milky Way where we are.

How great you're able to visit your parents in Sydney. We liked it there. We visited there, Brisbane, Cairn (the Great Barrier Reef), Uluru and a Rain Forest resort up a mountain. Beautiful skies all over the place, although out in the desert near Uluru, with no lights, was the best by far, as I mentioned.

>55 lkernagh: Thanks, Lori. We are having a wonderful weekend, and I hope you are, too. We sent off the Pittsburgh clan yesterday, and are catching our breath. We're still instinctively thinking in terms of what we need to do for the grandkids, but gradually are settling back into normalcy.

>56 thornton37814: Hi, Lori. I know, how did we get up to 10 threads?

We've always loved Calvin & Hobbes, too. I feel lucky to have been around as that strip appeared and proceeded to captivate so many of us.

>58 Storeetllr: Ha! Me, too, Mary.

>59 benitastrnad: I love being on murder mystery/thriller binges, Benita. I've read about the detective Lucas Page recently, but didn't realize this was the only one out so far. It's probably implicit in your comments, but did you like it?

>60 banjo123: Me, too, Rhonda!

Edited: Jun 28, 11:40am Top

This tribute to bluesman Muddy Waters just went up in Chicago

Jun 28, 12:04pm Top

>62 jnwelch: Hm. More poets = brighten the light pollution, y'all!

>65 jnwelch: More bluesmen, OTOH, gets my absolute full and complete attention and agreement.

Jun 28, 12:37pm Top

>64 jnwelch:
I liked it but think that it could have used some editing. It was about 50 pages longer than it needed to be. However, it is his first novel City of Windows published in the U.S. The second one is Under Pressure and it won't come out until the end of July. I don't "get" the main character yet, but liked the plot. I was literally watching paint dry yesterday afternoon and so had nothing else to do but read the book. (I am repainting some of my garden furniture.) It is so hot and humid here that the paint just stayed tacky so long. I did finish the 370 pages in two days.

Jun 28, 12:40pm Top

>65 jnwelch:

It was so incredible to hear Muddy Waters at Howlin' Wolf's place on the South Side
and at Big John's and Mother Blues on the North in the 1960s.

Jun 28, 12:53pm Top

Once again, I am aggrieved at the populace of Alabama. For a week now we have been under a cloud. A dust cloud. This dust has traveled all the way from North Africa. Apparently there have been a series of really big, bad, and continuous dust storms in the Sahara and the Sahel that have resulted in this monstrous cloud of dust traveling all the way across the Atlantic in much the same manner as a low pressure system that would ordinarily be bringing a hurricane with it. However, this time it is bringing dust. In the words of my local TV weatherperson, Alabama and the lower parts of Tennessee will be "blessed with glorious sunrises and sunsets for the next couple of days" ending on Saturday (June 27) or Sunday (June 28).

Why am I aggrieved? The dust storm will bring with it glorious sunrises and sunsets! Not one word about the reason why we have the dust in the atmosphere. That would be global warming. And not one word about what that dust means in terms of survival in the regions of the Sahel. And so, while we have "glorious" sunrises and sunsets we can go on blithely talking about the scenery while the "house is on FIRE!" in the words of Greta Thurnberg.

Why can't our TV people start making the connections on our news and help people to understand the realities of the situation? Have we become that shallow as a nation?

Of course, that last was a rhetorical question and the answer doesn't need to be said.

All of this while on one day Alabama reported almost 900 new cases of Corvid-19 and the ICU of our local hospital is now almost full. It is just too discourgaging. It looks like, at least in Tuscaloosa, that the restaurants and local watering holes will once again be closed. I just hope that they close all the stores again so that those small business owners don't have to bear the brunt of this financial crisis. This time they should close Target and Walmart because they aren't grocery stores! (IMO) Even if they sell food stuffs they should be forced to close off all of the other merchandize that they have in the stores so that customers can only purchase grocery items.

Life is depressing right now in Alabama.

Jun 28, 1:38pm Top

>64 jnwelch: Unfortunately I don't see the Milky Way here. It was on our recent trip to Hawai'i (Big Island) that I was floored to be realise I could see it with my own eyes.

Jun 28, 2:37pm Top

>66 richardderus: LOL! I anticipated that you might not be thrilled about the more poets idea, Richard. I just read that supposedly only 6.7% of our U.S. population likes to read poetry, although that was still higher than the percentage that likes to go to the opera.

I bet more stargazing would result in more blues performers - how could it not? :-)

>67 benitastrnad: 370 pp. in two days is a pretty good recommendation for City of Windows in itself, Benita, although you made me chuckle with your only alternative being to literally watch paint dry, and in sticky weather at that.

>68 m.belljackson: Oh, I'd love to hear you talk about that some time, Marianne. Your experiences are from before my time here - I arrived in the late 70s. We used to go to the Kingson Mines a lot, and Blues, and the Wise Fool's Pub on Lincoln had Albert Collins and others perform there. I haven't been to listen in longer a time than I should've let pass. It is on our Chicago to-do list. We've kept up on jazz here pretty well, but not the blues.

>69 benitastrnad: You make a good point about newscasters not making obvious climate change connections for viewers. I hadn't seen that you'd gotten a dust cloud all the way from North Africa. That gets a wow from me. And so, while we have "glorious" sunrises and sunsets we can go on blithely talking about the scenery while the "house is on FIRE!" in the words of Greta Thurnberg. Right!

I did know Alabama was in Covid trouble. After all the quarantining and damage to the economy, the pathetic "leadership" from Donald the Orange, and the politicizing of mask-wearing, and the blithely ignorant response from so many, and the failure to listen to medical experts, has left us essentially worse off than before. The White House's stated belief that it's "fading away" is just wishful nonsense. Just about every other country has handled it better than we have. (Brazil is another big failure).

>70 humouress: Ah, I misunderstood, Nina. Well, I wish we both could see the Milky Way where we live.

Jun 28, 2:56pm Top

>69 benitastrnad: 900 in one day in Alabama is quite worrying.

>68 m.belljackson: Muddy Waters! I have his Newport Jazz Festival recordings and they are amazing.

Have a great Sunday, Joe.

Edited: Jun 28, 9:10pm Top

>72 PaulCranswick: Agreed re 900 in one day, Paul.

Muddy Waters is classic blues. I'm glad you've listened to his amazing music.

It has been a great Sunday, thanks. I even managed to finish a book (The Jane Austen Society, which has been hard to do the last two weeks with the grandkids visiting.

Jun 29, 6:39am Top

Morning, Joe! I hope you had a good weekend. I know it was a bit bittersweet with the gang heading home but it seemed like you had a nice long visit. Now, you can get back into your usual bucolic setting. Yep, it sounds like there are plenty of birds to be seen at Montrose, although very few migrants of course, but the piping plover family is there.

I am looking forward to a short work week but but not looking forward to the HEAT. I highly recommend A Burning, despite still being in the first half of the novel. It should end up being the book of the summer.

Jun 29, 8:21am Top

>74 msf59: Morning, Mark! It was a good weekend, although you're right, it was a bit bittersweet saying good-bye to the gang. Glad to hear there are plenty of birds at Montrose; that's such a beautiful spot. Our east coast cousins continue to be surprised we have a piping plover family here.

Yeah, it looks like a hot week. Let's hope the weather forecasters are as wrong as they usually are. I'll keep an eye out for your final reaction to The Burning - sometimes authors can blow it in the last part of the book, although it doesn't sound like that will happen with this one. I've started William Gibson's new one, Agency, and so far it's very good.

Jun 29, 8:23am Top

Jun 29, 9:17am Top

>65 jnwelch: That's soo cool!

Jun 29, 9:33am Top

Hi Joe!

I'm assuming it was a lovely visit, and am assuming that the peace and quiet are enjoyable - at least for a while. *smile*

Jun 29, 10:49am Top

>77 figsfromthistle:. Isn’t that Mudfy Waters street art cool, Anita? It captures him well.

>78 karenmarie:. Hi Karen!

Your assumptions are right on target. :-). We’re feeling less sleep-deprived, too, although I’ve still got some catching up to do on that score (Fina had some challenging nights in particular).

Our DIL just Face-Timed is with them, knowing we’d be missing them already.

Jun 29, 10:52am Top

Today’s Bargain: Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers, a very good Lord Peter Wimsey mystery, is available on e-readers today for 99 cents.

Jun 29, 10:57am Top

Living in a state that went into lockdown early, mandated masks (and still does when in public), and boasts a population of (mostly) sane and responsible people, it infuriates me what is happening elsewhere. Dumb people are why we can't have nice things. I am so glad I left Texas for about a bajillion reasons, but the pandemic takes the cake.

Jun 29, 1:01pm Top

>81 katiekrug: Good for New Jersey, Katie. Thanks for the chart. We're doing well in Illinois, too, with a long trend downward and the lowest covid-19 death total yesterday (15) since March.

With drumpf and the Fed Gov generally making things worse and being useless at best, the state governors have had to step in, and Florida's and Texas's governors, among others, have made really poor choices. Add in rugged individualism and conspiracy theories and I don't know what all, and too many states are disasters right now. Who can blame Europe for not wanting to let Americans in?

Jun 29, 1:21pm Top

>50 jnwelch: my eyesight was always pretty bad and we lived in the city, so I never really paid a lot of attention to the stars.

Then I went on a sailing trip off Key West away from the land and saw! the! Stars! fir the first time really. Mind bending. Wow!

>81 katiekrug: Murder Must Advertise is probably my favorite Lord Peter that doesn't include Harriet Vane.

Jun 29, 8:20pm Top

>76 jnwelch: Yeup. Everyone needs to vote in unprecedented numbers this year. Depressing that it took a plague and a crisis to get the most of folk to realize this right is essential to exercise en masse.

But it takes what it takes, and I'm glad it looks like it could be sinking in now.

Jun 29, 8:40pm Top

>84 richardderus: Vote early and often.

Jun 30, 10:40am Top

>83 magicians_nephew: It must have been spectacular, Jim. I grew up in a Michigan town and spent time in nature there, but that moment for me occurred when I was in clear sky Arizona (a lot of years ago), lying on my back in the back of a pickup truck traveling down the highway. The multitude of stars seemed right on top of me.

>84 richardderus: This can be turned into quite the positive if we get those unprecedented numbers and the fed gov turns blue, Richard. A lot of the non-voters do seem to be getting the message, and the young 'uns coming of age are motivated.

>85 weird_O: It's the Chicago way, Bill. :-)

Edited: Jun 30, 10:43am Top

Star Wars at peace

Jun 30, 2:27pm Top

>87 jnwelch: Great photo Joe.

Jul 1, 6:41am Top

>87 jnwelch: LIKE! Wow, Carrie Fisher was tiny!

Morning, Joe. Happy Wednesday. This heat is ridiculous. Glad I have a short work week. A Burning ended up being a 5 star read for me. I have a copy, so I can lend it to you, when I see you. Next up, is The Prisoner of Heaven. I am assuming you were a fan of The Shadow of the Wind?

Keep cool, my friend.

Jul 1, 8:36am Top

>88 Caroline_McElwee: Isn't that photo something, Caroline? I didn't know one like that existed.

>89 msf59: I know, Mark, that was my reaction, too! She's so big on the screen, but tiny in person. Of course, she's standing by a Wookie, but still.

Happy Wednesday. I'm such a glass half full guy - I've been happy it hasn't been as hot as predicted. Over the weekend they were predicting temps in the 90s. But I'm not out in it all day. You're probably ready for a cold brewski when you're done.

Oh good, I'm glad A Burning ended up being a prize read. Thanks - I'll take the loan at our next get-together.

I did like Shadow of the Wind, although I don't think I had it up there as high as so many others did. Good for you for trying this one. It sounds intriguing. Sad to lose him.

Edited: Jul 1, 8:42am Top

This Cooper Hawk and its nest of little ones is just around the corner and up the street from us. A neighbor with a much better camera than mine took these. I love having wildlife in the city.

Jul 1, 9:23am Top

>91 jnwelch: - You know you are going to make Mark jealous! Great shots. Except for the red-tail, I have a hard time IDing hawks, most of the time. They are huge!

Jul 1, 9:36am Top

>92 jessibud2: Ha! I did tell Mark about this one, Shelley. It was nice to go birding on a very short walk. :-)

Cooper hawks seem particularly huge to me. We had one (the same one?) a couple of years ago outside our house on a phone wire, and I couldn't believe how big it was. This one is way high in a tall tree, but it still seems huge. Unfortunately the little ones were out doing little one things while I was there; I hope to see them at some point.

Jul 1, 10:34am Top

>91 jnwelch: Love the Cooper's Hawk photos, Joe. Glad the nest is so close, for you to check out. Actually Coops, are smaller than red-tails. I have seen a few that look pretty small. They need that for zipping through the woods and into hedges.

Jul 1, 12:14pm Top

>91 jnwelch: Cool photos!

>94 msf59: ...is it just me, or can others hear the grinding of jealousy...?

Jul 1, 12:43pm Top

>91 jnwelch: Amazing.

So where is that grandee icing the birthday cake Joe?

Jul 1, 4:19pm Top

>67 benitastrnad:
I did like City of Windows by Robert Pobi and thought it had an innovative plot. I think the author could have done better in fleshing out his characters and letting the reader in on what makes them tick - but for a mystery/thriller it was a good first novel. I think he will get better as a writer so when the second book comes out in late July I am going to try to get my hands on it.

I did have one beef - there is no Waffle House in Jackson, Wyoming. In fact, there are hardly any Waffle Houses to be found West of the Missouri River. I know of 1 in Kansas and I don't think there are any in Oklahoma or Nebraska. I have never seen one in Colorado, but the Waffle House web site shows some in or around Denver. Not a single pin in the entire state of Wyoming. Somebody should have done some fact checking because fast food joints aren't as ubiquitous as one might think. I doubt if Craig Johnson would have made that mistake - but then he lives in Wyoming. Pobi is Canadian, but I am not sure where in Canada he lives. He doesn't show up in Wikipedia. I don't think that an author has to be a native of a place in order to use it in a book. If we did that then there wouldn't a good deal of the writing we have available to us because good writing requires imagination, so I am not going to let this one bit of minutia keep me from enjoying the novel or promoting it to others. Besides, the scenes in Wyoming involve a visit and it isn't the main setting for the novel. ..., but I did notice it.

Jul 1, 6:29pm Top

>91 jnwelch:

Love the photos! - up here in Token Creek, hawks fly over but never that low or close.

This has been the Summer of Nature - todays' adventure was a female Wild Turkey
greeting my daughter at the front door when she went to call me.

I came in, saw nothing, then we looked out the kitchen window and there was
Mom Turkey scurrying past, with ten little babies rapidly trying to catch up.

My daughter said they had likely recently hatched in the front of our little 3.3 acres,
which she has taken to introducing as "Welcome to Jurassic Park."

Edited: Jul 1, 7:23pm Top

>94 msf59: Thanks, Mark. You'd get a kick out of this. Thanks for the info on red-tailed hawks being bigger. This Coop looks like it would knock down small trees and smash hedges like a linebacker. :-)

>95 richardderus: Thanks, RD. I think Mr. Mark has enough hawk and other bird sightings to be bemused by my latest. And, of course, like him I knew that red tail hawks generally are bigger than Cooper Hawks (no way I knew that).

>96 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. Your memory is unrelenting. :-) It's a process to get photos from my phone on here, but I've got a bunch underway, including that Father's Day cake. Maybe tomorrow.

>97 benitastrnad: Thanks for the City of Windows tip, Benita. I'm glad it held up through the end. I do think authors (and their editors) should check details like the non-existent Waffle House in Jackson, WY. My impression has always been that they're concentrated in the Southeast; the only one I've eaten at was in Florida.

I'll trade you a tip - Blanche on the Lam, a sort of American-style upstairs/downstairs mystery with the titular Blanche a black housekeeper with a lot more savvy than those she's working for realize. The baton on it was originally passed to me by Richard. I already picked up the second in the series.

>98 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. I love the sound of "up here in Token Creek." Thanks again for the photos of the fawn. There is something so awesome about hawks flying - I will always stop and watch. That can be a problem when I see them while driving (kidding).

Wow, a wild turkey and her ten turklets. You do have a lot going on in those 3.3 acres! We used to see wild turkeys a lot in northern Michigan when we'd vacation there. I'm sure that was a bit of a surprise for your daughter, to be greeted by Mama Turkey at your door.

Jul 1, 7:54pm Top

Happy newish thread, Joe. I love the pics of your favourite grandkids. The Muddy Waters tribute is pretty cool too. I remember seeing him a few times when he was in Vancouver.

Jul 1, 9:03pm Top

>99 jnwelch:
Looked it up on Amazon and then added Blanche on the Lam by Barbara Neely to the reading list.

Jul 2, 9:47am Top

>100 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg, and I'm glad you like the grandkids pics. There'll be more soon.

Oh, I envy you seeing Muddy Waters live in Vancouver. I'd love to have done that.

>101 benitastrnad: Great to hear, Benita. Blanche on the Lam was good to the last drop. I think you'll enjoy her character and escapades.

Jul 2, 9:51am Top

The Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, The Temptations, and Smoky Robinson and the Miracles, all in one photo

Jul 2, 10:22am Top

>103 jnwelch: WOW! Impressive line up.

Morning, Joe. Sweet Thursday. Another hot one. This is kind of like a warmed up version of Groundhog Day. Glad this will be my last work day of the week.

The Prisoner of Heaven is off to a strong start. You would like this one.

Jul 2, 10:27am Top

>103 jnwelch: - Wow, love it!

Jul 2, 10:31am Top

Used to eat at the Waffle Houses in Altanta and in Raleigh.

Once I was able to stop them from dumping an ice cream scoop on GRITS on my waffle every morning we got along OK

Jul 2, 10:55am Top

Wow, that was a long visit from the grands, Joe. The silence must have been deafening when they left. I liked all the talk about stars in the nighttime sky. I remember laying on my back as a child and looking for constellations. I still look up to the sky before bedtime every night to see if the North Star Is visible. Your neighborhood hawk is amazing.

Jul 2, 1:44pm Top

>99 jnwelch: Well only a partially good memory Joe, Father's Day of course! Dusting off my patience...

>103 jnwelch: I wanna go to the party they are heading to. What a great photo.

Jul 2, 1:52pm Top

>91 jnwelch: Wow, that guy's got some pecs on him! How wonderful it is to see wildlife up close - and these days they seem to be coming closer. I hope we don't go back to the 'good' old ways.

Jul 3, 12:32am Top

>103 jnwelch: That's a lot of talent in one picture!

Jul 3, 8:40am Top

>104 msf59: Isn't that quite a collection of talent, Mark? So cool to have all of them together. What an impact on the world they've had.

Sweet Thursday/Happy Friday, buddy. I'm glad you're done with a hot work week. We're going to have Becca and Indy over this weekend, so Indy can hang out in our basement during the fireworks. Someone (our son?) said sales of fireworks have gone up 700% during the pandemic. Tough on dogs and some vets.

Good to hear about the Zafon book.

>105 jessibud2: Right, Shelley? How amazing to get them all together like that.

>106 magicians_nephew: We have fond memories of Waffle House, Jim. Debbi and I were in Pensacola to start our honeymoon (thanks to her brother - no money back then) and were starving after our wedding - we'd both been too nervous to eat anything. So we had one Waffle House breakfast (scrambled eggs with cheddar on top is what I remember) and, it being so good, we immediately had another. The waitress was amused.

Grits on waffles doesn't sound so swell to me, but our daughter would probably like it. A scoop of ice cream on top of that - no thanks. I'm glad you got it straightened out.

Jul 3, 8:55am Top

>107 Donna828: It was a two week visit from the grands, Donna, and a sweet one. You're right; Debbi said it was going to be like a ghost town after they left, and she was right. The sliver lining is going back to our usual and having only a small percentage of the constant cleanup.

I love your habit every night of looking up to the sky for the North Star. We're on a lit city street, so we do look up for the moon, but stars are sometimes yes, sometimes no. That neighborhood hawk is such a gift. Falcons were introduced downtown many years ago to help pare down the pigeon population, but these days hawks of all sorts seem to be liking it here in the city, including the red-tailed hawk, the Cooper's hawk, the northern harrier, the rough-legged hawk, the broad-winged hawk and the red-shouldered hawk. (Doing my Mark imitation as best I can!)

>108 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks for the patience, Caroline - keep dusting it off! I had a technological glitch and couldn't get into what I needed to get into for the photos. I'll try again later.

Ha! I love the idea of going to a party with our Motown heroes. What an amazing time that was.

>109 humouress: Hi, Nina. Yeah, a welcome side effect of the pandemic has been wild animals feeling more comfortable in what were/are largely human spaces. I hope it continues, too. It's not hard to handle the occasional dangerous ones.

>110 DeltaQueen50: Isn't that a lot of talent in one picture, Judy? I grew up near Detroit in Ann Arbor, so they were a big part of the soundtrack of my youth.

Jul 3, 8:58am Top

A National Geographic photo by eMani

Jul 3, 10:00am Top

>112 jnwelch: I've had Motown in the background while working this afternoon, your fault Joe.

>113 jnwelch: Beautiful.

Jul 3, 10:13am Top

Pelham Grenville Wodehouse has come to save me, Joe. June was a poor reading month for me, the fewest books read since early 2018. I kept think that a Wodehouse romp would spark any reading life that might be within me. "But I don't have any unread Wodehouse," I kept reminding myself.

Sulking in my basement hidey hole, I scanned the stacks and spied Leave It to Psmith. Quickly, I checked my LT catalog and found I bought it last December at the *sniff* last *sniff* library book sale *sob* I attended. Originally published in 1924, but it lacks that nearly century-old mustiness.. Off to an encouraging start!

Jul 4, 10:52am Top

>103 jnwelch: That's an amazing photo, Joe. I wonder what the occasion was? Have a happy 4th of July!

Jul 4, 11:34am Top

>114 Caroline_McElwee: Ha! I'm glad to be at fault, Caroline, for your listening to Motown. That music holds up beautifully, doesn't it.

Disney Plus began broadcasting the film of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton play, and it's beautifully filmed. We loved it all over again, and the film allowed us to see some things in close-up that we didn't catch in the theater. Our daughter has decided to watch it over and over again, forever. :-)

P.S. Tech glitch solved so, fingers crossed, I'll get some photos up today.

>115 weird_O: P.G.! P.G.! Great choice for a slump-buster, Bill. I did read Leave it to Psmith at some point, although I know there are other P.G.'s I haven't read. Beside Bertie and Jeeves, I loved the Galahad Threepwood and Uncle Fred ones. Some silliness always helps.

I just finished two Barbara Neely mysteries featuring black housekeeper Blanche White. Yes, she gets reactions to her name. The author strikes me as quite wise about the black experience. In the first one, Blanche on the Lam, she's working for a rich white couple, and in the second, Blanche Among the Talented Tenth, she's in an exclusive black resort among mainly lighter-colored black affluents who look down on darker-skinned people. Really good. I'll track down the third. (A tip of the hat to RD for recommending the first one).

>116 Familyhistorian: Thanks for the Happy Fourth, Meg. I hope you're having a relaxing weekend. Isn't that a beautiful photo. All I could find in a quick search was the source and photographer. I'd be interested to know where it was taken.

Edited: Jul 4, 11:59am Top

Chicago's Hancock building in a recent storm

Jul 4, 11:58am Top

>113 jnwelch: >118 jnwelch: Both gorgeous shots!

Happy 4th, Joe. I did some birding early this morning but it looks like we will be laying low for the holiday. Some chores to attend to and hope to spend a nice chunk of time with the books.

Have a great day with the Welch clan.

Jul 4, 12:00pm Top

>118 jnwelch: Gawd couldn't make up her mind that day.

THIS day, however, was sublimely peaceful.

Jul 4, 12:02pm Top

>118 jnwelch: Thanks, buddy. Happy 4th! I'm glad you got some birding in. Good weekend for laying low.

The film of the Hamilton play in on Disney Plus - terrific. Lin-Manuel and the whole original cast. Beautifully filmed.

I think I mentioned that we have Becca and Indy over. We're having bagels on our back deck before it gets too hot. Indy's loving it.

Jul 4, 12:28pm Top

>120 richardderus:. That is sublimely peaceful! Thanks, RD.

Today’s Bargain: H is for Hawk, on e-readers for $1.99.

Jul 4, 12:43pm Top

Joe and Family - Hope your 4th is relaxing and fun!

We're having Strawberry Shortcakes, Vegetarian burgers with Renard's cheese, Salads and Snap Peas from the local CSA.

Nature sightings have slowed = I suggested that my daughter keep an eye out at the front door for BRUNO.
She said that Diplodocus was more likely. Ah, the mid-point of 2020 and we can still laugh.

I'm starting again to read the NORTON Book of Nature Writing after getting lost around page 200 of 910 a couple of years ago.
(John Elder is one of the editors - just finished his intriguing - connecting Frost's poetry with landscape hiking -
Reading the Mountains of Home.)

Gilbert White and his Selbourne pastoral writings will be a welcome relief after Roth's PLOT AGAINST AMERICA,
but not as much fun as RomeAntically Challenged.

Jul 4, 1:11pm Top

I finished reading a must read book for anybody who is still trying to figure out what happened in 2016. Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town by Brian Alexander. Some might say this is a book written by an angry man. They are correct. Of course by the end I was a righteously angry reader.

I am so angry about what happened to Anchor Hocking and to Lancaster, Ohio. The story is simply not-to-be-believed, even though it happened. The author did a good job of tying so many strings together and making the story of Lancaster, Ohio come together. He started with the demise of Anchor Hocking and sifted through all the financial shenanigans that should shame every invest banking corporation and make American's force their politicians to shape up. This group needs tighter regulation and better laws regulating them and we need to stop gutting laws put in place in 2007 to keep this very kind of stock and debt manipulation from happening. Then the author ties all this to the apathy and the drug epidemic in states like Ohio. He makes a good case in many of arguments while showing compassion for people living in the situation; many of whom were his classmates in high school. He did a remarkable job.

"Corporate elites said they need free-trade agreements, so they got them. Manufactures said they needed tax breaks and public-money incentives in order to keep their plants operating in the United States, so they got them. Banks and financiers needed loser regulations, so they got them. Employers said the needed weaker unions - or no unions at all - so they got them. Private equity firms said they needed carried interest and secrecy, so they got them. Everybody, including Lancastrians themselves, said the needed lower taxes, so they got them. What did Lancaster and a hundred other towns like it get? Job losses, slashed wages, poor civic leadership, social dysfunction, drugs." page 291

I thought he was a passionate and compassionate author.

Jul 4, 1:15pm Top

>103 jnwelch: >116 Familyhistorian: >117 jnwelch: A Google search on the image yielded this link: https://classic.motown.com/story/story-behind-the-image-the-tamla-motown-uk-revu...

According to the piece at the link, the photo was taken at London's Marble Arch in March 1965, days before the start of a UK concert tour featuring Martha and the Vandellas, the Supremes, Smokey and the Miracles, and Stevie Wonder. The Temptations were on their own tour, but appeared for the photo shoot. Mr. Wonder was not at the shoot. Below is a different shot. With IDs.

From left to right: Rosalind Ashford, Betty Kelley, Martha Reeves, Claudette Robinson, Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin (hidden), Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore, Otis Williams, Bobby Rogers, Melvin Franklin, Ronnie White, Paul Williams, Florence Ballard, Diana Ross and Mary Wilson

Edited: Jul 4, 1:38pm Top

Forgot to mention. I discovered yet another Wodehouse hiding in a stack: The Brinksmanship of Galahad Threepwood. Freddie Threepwood is in the book I'm reading. It's billed as a Blandings Castle book. Copyrighted in 1964, so it is forty years between the two books.

ETA: I notice the Touchstone cites the title as Galahad at Blandings; no other option. Title change? Difference between UK and US? Well! I'll just have to look into that.

Jul 4, 4:25pm Top

Hi Joe, mate, Happy 4th July dear friend.

Jul 4, 4:27pm Top

>120 richardderus: I saw this 'in the canvas' last year Richard. A star it very definitely is.

Jul 4, 5:10pm Top

>121 jnwelch: Hey, Joe. We never did see Hamilton on stage. Yep, bummer, but we did get Disney Plus and we will be watching the 2016 Broadway film version tonight. I have heard nothing but raves.

Jul 4, 5:53pm Top

>113 jnwelch: Oh wow, just wow!

Jul 4, 6:52pm Top

>123 m.belljackson: It's been a really nice, relaxing 4th, Marianne, thanks. Our daughter and her dog Indy are over (we're sheltering Indy from the fireworks in our basement - lots of people shooting them off in our area), and we ordered pickup from a deli that resulted in great bagels and chive cream cheese and sliced tomato this morning, and potato pancakes tonight to go with veggie burgers and corn on the cob, with ice cream afterwards.

Your spread sounds delish, and I hope it's been a good 4th for you. Even without Bruno or a diplodocus. :-)

Good for you with the Norton Book of Nature Writing; I don't remember ever reading that much nature writing in one gulp!

I never did read The Plot Against America. Of the ones of his I've read, The Ghostwriter was probably my favorite.

>124 benitastrnad: I'm glad the passionate and compassionate Glass House: the 1% was such a good read for you, Benita. Our economy is way out of balance in all the areas you mention. It started with Reagan; we were economically much healthier before his massive "trickle down" (nonsense theory) tax cuts.

>125 weird_O: Thanks for the research and story about the Motown stars photo. Great to have the IDs, too. Too bad Stevie Wonder didn't make it. "David Ruffin (hidden)" sounds about right; he broke away from the Temptations not long after that for a solo career, and I wish he hadn't; I loved that guy's voice, and his solo career fizzled.

Jul 4, 7:07pm Top

>126 weird_O: Oh, you're bringing back sweet memories, Bill. There are a slew of Blandings Castle books, including the first (I think) of them with that title. Galahad Threepwood was one of the characters. The Brinkmanship of Galahad Threepwood was one of my favorite PGs as a lad. Another favorite was Uncle Fred in Springtime. A local acting troupe (City Lit adapted several PG stories, including Jeeves ones, and Uncle Fred in Springtime. They were a lot of fun, and allowed me to introduce their silliness to our kids. Neither of them picked up on reading PG though. They both read a lot of books, so I should be satisfied with that. But he's so much fun; I'm glad you're a fan.

>127 johnsimpson: Thanks, John. Very gracious of you to remember our celebration of that minor dispute which has since healed up so nicely.

Probably this isn't news to many, but I just found out that Patrick Stewart is a son of Yorkshire. I should've known, right? So many good people come from there. Debbi and I are both fans, and if he were available, I believe she'd bump me off and marry him. I shaved my head to approximate his look and keep her on my side.

>128 Caroline_McElwee: Ooo, I'd love to see >120 richardderus: in the canvas, Caroline. Where's it situated?

>129 msf59: Oh man, can't wait to hear what you think of Hamilton, Mark. What a genius play that is, with great music.

>130 quondame: Isn't >113 jnwelch: a beaut, Susan. I love it, too.

Jul 4, 7:39pm Top

>132 jnwelch: So a decade or so back a man who has never seen him before is looking for my brother Eric in the lunchroom, and when asking someone to point him out, was directed to a table with two guys, one looks like Sipowicz and the other like Picard - and my brother will be the Picard look-alike. Eric didn't seem at all flattered until I told him that at least he wasn't the Sipowicz.

Edited: Jul 4, 7:48pm Top

>6 jnwelch: Have you read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig? I recently finished it (for the reading challenge) and, though I'm not by any means a student of philosophy, I found it a very interesting read.

- Greg (ocgreg34)

Jul 4, 7:50pm Top

>132 jnwelch: it was on loan to Tate Britain Joe. It belongs to the Musée D'Orsay in Paris I thnk.

Jul 4, 11:06pm Top

In this difficult year with an unprecedented pandemic and where the ills of the past intrude sadly upon the present there must still be room for positivity. Be rightly proud of your country. To all my American friends, enjoy your 4th of July weekend.

Edited: Jul 5, 10:35am Top

>133 quondame: Ha! Oh, I hope you got him to laugh, Susan. That's a great response. BTW, I'm not inviting your brother to our house, given my bride's susceptibility to that kind of handsomeness.

>134 ocgreg34: Hi, Greg. Nice to see you here. I did read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as a lad and LOVED it. It's hard to believe now, but he had all sorts of trouble getting that published. It was part of what inspired me in the Buddhist direction. I've been thinking about re-reading it lately. I'm glad you made it through (not a shorty, right?) and found it very interesting.

P.S. It was the subject of a reading challenge? How'd I miss that? Is it in the 75er group? I'd love to see the discussion.

>135 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks for letting me know, Caroline. I bet I saw it at the Musee D'Orsay. I knew I'd seen it (Starry Night Over the Rhone) with Debbi, but couldn't remember where.

>136 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. A film of Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton" play debuted on tv around the country this weekend, and everyone is being reminded of the challenge, cost and excitement of starting this grand experiment. So much is pointing toward this November to get us back on track. This "president" has encouraged the intrusion of the ills of the past you mention, and is the worst possible "leader" to have during a pandemic. He's also installed some of the worst of us in positions of power, and encouraged those already in power to support him and their own worst tendencies.

Anyway, there's plenty of room for pride and positivity, as you say. The response on many fronts has been strong, and there's reason to hope this has been a wake-up call for some much-needed change.

Edited: Jul 5, 11:42am Top

Phew! OK, for Caroline in particular, here's a photo of our son Jesse and his son Rafa having finished decorating Jesse's Father's Day cake. Also, a photo of Fina relaxing (maybe while they're doing it?)

Jul 5, 11:49am Top

Living the good life at Bubbe and Banjo's.

Edited: Jul 5, 11:51am Top

>138 jnwelch: Awwwwww.... what sweethearts. And as someone with hair that only ever gave me a little wave and all the flyaways with humidity, I'm super jealous of their curly hair :D

Oops... crossposted! Love >139 jnwelch: too of course :) I love your nicknames. How did Banjo come about?

Jul 5, 12:07pm Top

>140 bell7: Thanks, Mary. They are curly-haired sweethearts, those two. "Banjo" was how Rafa handled "Grandpa Joe" in his two-syllable stage (e.g. "zapatos" (shoes) were "patos"). It stuck. We all like it, especially since his grandfather, my dad, played the banjo (among other instruments).

Jul 5, 12:30pm Top

>138 jnwelch:, >139 jnwelch: omg what adorable children. I especially like the photo of little Fina snoozing.

Jul 5, 12:35pm Top

>138 jnwelch: I see where the kids get their curls from (and not from Patrick Stewart, I suspect).

>141 jnwelch: Love 'Banjo'. I can see why that's a keeper.

Jul 5, 12:57pm Top

adorableness overload adorableness overload
abandon thread

Edited: Jul 5, 1:40pm Top

>137 jnwelch: My 6', slender, beak-nosed bald brother has a professionally charming French wife, his third, who is way out of his class. But he does have a great sense of humor and has learned some harsh lessons.

>138 jnwelch: >139 jnwelch: Oh you must have had a fabulous time. What precious memories!

Jul 5, 4:47pm Top

Glad the grands were grand. Color me jealous.

>91 jnwelch: Lovely hawks! Have you read Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution? If not, I think you'd enjoy it. The evolution going on in large cities is amazing. I finished it a few weeks back, but am just now writing my review. It was recommended by both by both Anita (FAMeulstee) and EllaTim.

Jul 5, 4:48pm Top

Jul 5, 6:00pm Top

>138 jnwelch: >139 jnwelch: Ha, a Jackson Pollock in the making perhaps! Clearly Fina was exhausted just watching them work. That paddling pool looks cooling Banjo! Rafa is full of beans.

Jul 5, 6:01pm Top

>137 jnwelch: Hi Joe. For the reading challenge, my coworker who lives in Seattle shared an Adult Book Bingo, run every summer by the Seattle Public Library (https://www.spl.org/programs-and-services/learning/summer-of-learning/2020-adult...). Each square represents a different category, such as "Afrofuturism", "poetry or comics", a book mentioned in another book, and so on. For the "Philosophy or Spirituality" category, I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which I've had a unread copy of for many years thanks to my English teacher during my junior year of high school recommending it (back in the '80s).

Jul 5, 8:28pm Top

>125 weird_O: Thanks for finding the story behind the photo, Bill, and another photo to boot!

And talking about photos, that must be the cleanest of the cake decorating photos, Joe. I hope you liked your cake.

Jul 5, 9:39pm Top

Joe, those shots of the Cooper's Hawk are beautiful! We had those in the neighborhood back in Seattle.
I also love the photos of Rafa and Fina, of course.

Your comments on my thread about knee replacements got my attention. I'm very nervous but I can't go on in constant pain.... I'm committed to the exercises and hoping for some good luck!

Reading Hamnet right now. It is SO good.

Jul 6, 8:59am Top

>142 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura. Thanks re the grandkiddoes. Fina loves to snooze at this stage of her life. But she just learned to roll over. Her dad wrote on FB something like, "I've got a two-year-old Master of Destruction and a five month old who started moving on her own. Send help!"

>143 humouress: Ha! Yeah, their papa had curls when he was that age, too. His hair later straightened out (he dyed it blue in his teens). It sure wasn't from me - mine couldn't have been straighter pre-Patrick Stewart.

Thanks re "Banjo."

>144 richardderus: Ha! I love your reactions, Richard. They are adorable, those two.

>145 quondame: Given my gender's propensity for jerkness, not being a jerk can go a long way for a guy in the romance department, right? I hope the third time sticks for your brother.

We did have a fabulous time with the wee ones and their papa, with lots of precious memories. Among many, Rafa is a huge fan of pelotas (balls) and patos (ducks - including our gang of rubber ducks), and I'll never forget his cries of delight for both.

>146 streamsong: The grands were grand, Janet, thanks.

Aren't Cooper Hawks cool? I have not read Darwin Comes to Town, and it sounds like just my cuppa. Anita and Ella recommend it, too - who can resist? I'll follow up.

Edited: Jul 6, 9:32am Top

>147 SandDune: Thanks, Rhian!

>148 Caroline_McElwee: Jean Arp? Paul Klee? I'm not sure they've got cake-decorating careers ahead of them, but they had fun. There's a tradition behind that - Papa Jesse, when he was a wee lad, would sit at that table with his Uncle Ed (our tenant and now a good friend) and decorate his birthday cake. It was wonderful to see him decorate the Father's Day cake with his own son.

Rafa is so full of beans, Caroine! Never stopping unless he's eating or sleeping. He loved the cooling pool. Fina was quizzical. Everything's new for that little girl. When she starts running around, look out world!

>149 ocgreg34: Hi Greg. Thanks for circling back. Good for you for sticking with that library challenge. I'll bet you had a great summer of reading. Good for them, too. I like the way the challenge lets you pick your own within a category. We loved Seattle when we'd visit our son there. (Now he's in Pittsburgh - what a whopping difference in the cost of living!)

>150 Familyhistorian: Yes, I second your thanks to Bill for figuring out the background to the Motown stars photo and providing a second one.

The cake was made by Madame MBH and was delicious, thanks. They did do a good job of keeping it clean. I know from chalk drawing on the basketball court that right now Rafa likes to tell the adult what to draw. His brain is ahead of his fine motor skills at this point. You'd probably have seen a lot of straight lines if it was only Rafa's work.

>151 EBT1002: Aren't those Cooper Hawk shots beautiful, Ellen? I can easily believe you had them in Seattle; you were surrounded by so much beautiful nature there. Janet tipped us all off up there on a good book on wild life in urban areas called Darwin Comes to Town.

Sending lots of good healthy vibes for your knee surgery. I know exactly what you mean - when the time came for the hips, I had no choice. The pain would've driven me crazy. If I'd lived that long in 1700s and had two bum hips like mine were, I'd probably have been a drunk just to deal with it. Thank goodness we're alive in this time where they've become pretty darn good at solving the problem.

I've wondered about Hamnet; good to hear you're enjoying it so much. A tip on a lively book I think you'd like: Blanche on the Lam. Black housekeeper turned detective. RD led the way on it.

Edited: Jul 6, 9:25am Top

Hanging with Fina.

Rafa taking it easy on our front porch.

Jul 6, 9:31am Top

>154 jnwelch: Ah, such nice pictures Joe. You look proud and protective.

Edited: Jul 6, 9:34am Top

>154 jnwelch: Thanks, Ella. Right on both counts! And sleepy myself. She sure calms a person down.

Jul 6, 11:11am Top

>138 jnwelch: >154 jnwelch: Love all the family photos! These are special.

Morning, Joe. I hope you had a good holiday weekend. We sure did. Looking at long 6 day work week and in this intense heat too. Ugh! On vacation next week, so some relief.

We absolutely loved Hamilton. Honestly, I was floored by the genius of it. That cast was incredible. I just wish I would have made time to read that biography.

Jul 6, 1:08pm Top

>157 msf59: Morning/afternoon, Mark.

Wasn't Hamilton incredible? I had the same reaction - floored by the genius of it. Sooo goood, and what a cast.

The only person I know who made it through the Chernow biography was Becca. It's a whopper. It is tempting, though. What a story.

It looks like a tough week. We've been thinking of you. I'm glad you've got vacation next week to look forward to.

Jul 6, 1:23pm Top

Well I made it through the Chernow of Hamilton but its a hard book to recommend - dense and long and scholarly.

The miracle is that Lin-Manual Miranda read it and somehow heard the characters "rapping".

Jul 6, 2:02pm Top

Just catching up here. SO many great photos of family and nature. Hoping to watch Hamilton soon...

Happy Monday!

Jul 6, 2:49pm Top

That Rafa is growing tall! Great pics of a great time, for sure!

Jul 6, 7:51pm Top

So far I've seen the first act of Hamilton - it was intense enough for me to save the second half for tonight. I did wiki some of the characters and was surprised that Angelica had eloped with Church years before Hamilton married her sister.

Jul 6, 8:15pm Top

>158 jnwelch: >159 magicians_nephew: I too managed to get through Chernow's bio of Hamilton, though it took me two tries. I got about 2/3 read before grinding to a dead halt, flat on my face in the dirt. I'll bet it was a year before I plunged back into it and stuck to the end. I'm wary of gargantuan bios because biographers too often are compelled to include every last scrap turned up through endless research.

Jul 7, 3:28am Top

Lovely pictures, Joe, thanks for sharing.
I read one of the enormous bios of Johnson many years ago and it rather put me off the political chunkster bios (despite being excellent, just Soooo Loooong).

In GN news, I just read Flake - made me laugh. Set in a northern (English) town about a guy who sells ice cream. I hope it makes it out in the US too (if it hasn't already).

Jul 7, 6:34am Top

>152 jnwelch: >142 lauralkeet: And you said ‘Been there, done that. You’re on your own’?

>152 jnwelch: >145 quondame: Remind me, do you already speak Spanish or are you learning along with the grands? It’s looking like I’ll have to take it up, to encourage my son with his studies. Let’s see how it we do.

>154 jnwelch: I have a few similar photos, with my dad fast asleep in his chair and a son of mine in the papoose stage ensconced on his chest, also fast asleep. In my dad’s case, baby was amply supported by his tummy though.

Edited: Jul 7, 10:25am Top

>159 magicians_nephew: Good for you for making it through Chernow's Hamilton, Jim. Long and dense and scholarly - sounds so appetizing, doesn't it. LMM's coming up with this musical from reading that book is a miracle, I agree. It just knocks me over.

>160 Berly: Hi, Kim. Happy Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by, and I'm glad you like what you're seeing.

>161 jessibud2: It was a great time, Shelley, and wee Mr. Rafa ain't so wee anymore, is he. His sister even more so, although it's harder to tell. At 5 months and a bit she's registering as a 9 month old in size and weight, at 17.7 pounds.

>162 quondame: That's news to me about Angelica and Church, Susan. You'll hear one of my favorite songs in the second half - Quiet Uptown. Sad but exquisite.

>163 weird_O: Kudos for finishing that beast, Bill. I agree - bios need judgment on what to keep and what to leave out, and too often much more is kept than makes for a good read. Candice Millard comes to mind as someone who knows how to not include too much.

Jul 7, 10:46am Top

Hi Joe!

>138 jnwelch: and >139 jnwelch: and >154 jnwelch: Thanks for sharing!

>141 jnwelch: I love Rafa’s name for you, especially since he came up with it on his own. Jenna called Bill's step-mother, my second MiL, 'Kayma', but it was at her request, not Jenna's invention. Her name was Kay, so it was clever and perfect.

I have both the book and the unabridged audiobook of Hamilton by Chernow. One of these fine days…

Edited: Jul 7, 10:51am Top

>164 charl08: You're welcome, Charlotte; I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. I'll probably post a couple more after this post.

I think the last whopper-size bio I read was Walter Isaacson's Einstein. That was great, but I need that level of interest to take one of these on. Team of Rivals was different, but that was another lengthy one I enjoyed.

Thanks for the tip on Flake. A laugh is always welcome; I added it to the WL.

>165 humouress: Madame MBH took on the laundry after the grands visit, Nina, and said more than half my clothes had gorp from the lovely Fina on them. Fina found me very relaxing.

I took Spanish in high school, but way back in the last century. Debbi and I took an intro to Spanish course about a year and a half ago, and now we're both learning via Duolingo Plus on our phones. Duolingo is better than I expected. We both agree that Rafa taught us a lot of Spanish while he was here - we're much better on our colors and animals and counting, for example. :-) It's wonderful how facile he is with learning both Spanish and English; his mother really looked forward to his getting a lot of daily English with us.

Fina finds me quite relaxing, which may turn into "boring" when she gets older. She didn't seem to miss having a tummy pillow. Her mother got a big kick out of how attached she got to me. The hard part with Fina is she's transitioning from feeding every couple of hours at night to just one feeding around 2 am, after falling asleep around 8 pm or so. So she needed a lot of soothing to get her through to 2 am. Then she'd wake up at 6 am, very hungry again. The eventual goal, of course, is for her to sleep through the night like her big bro. She's so darn big for her age, she's hungry all the time.

Jul 7, 10:55am Top

You'll be glad to hear that Rafa LOVES books. And puzzles.

Jul 7, 12:47pm Top

>169 jnwelch: - What?! He loves books and puzzles? I am stunned. How on earth did that happen? Where could he have picked that up from? ;-) ;-) ;-)

Jul 7, 1:42pm Top

>163 weird_O: >166 jnwelch: I thought of Candice Millard too when the subject of non-boring presidential bios came up. President Garfield and those around him we’re so vivid in her Destiny of the Republic. (Although I still contend it’s a terrible title!)

>169 jnwelch: Don’t you just love seeing the grands fascinated by books? My two are the same with Lily (2) pretending to read a book until she gets frustrated and hands it over to one of us: “Tell me the words!”

Jul 7, 3:33pm Top

Hi Joe, love all the great family photos!

Jul 7, 5:35pm Top

Wonderful pictures of you and Debbie with Rafa and Fina !

Edited: Jul 7, 10:12pm Top

>91 jnwelch: Oh my! Wonderful shots.

And then, of course, the adorable wee young'uns are always a treat. >169 jnwelch: I think Rafa is educating Bubbe about something there...

May I say that I LOVE "Banjo". I hope he never outgrows that.

Jul 8, 6:56am Top

>169 jnwelch: Can't get enough of these!

Morning, Joe. Happy Wednesday. Just trying to muddle my way through this work week. The heat has been brutal but the books have been a good distraction. Really enjoying Animal Spirit: Stories and my audio The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, which you might get a kick out of. Sadly, no poetry or GNs being read.

Jul 8, 9:02am Top

>175 msf59: Morning, Mark. Happy Wednesday. Wish we could do better by you in the heat department. I'm sure you're a pro at keeping yourself hydrated.

I love that title, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, and I've wondered about the book. Good to hear you like it. And Animal Spirit: Stories looks good. The GNs I've been reading aren't your style, but I think you would enjoy the Sarah Kay poetry. She's a performance poet, so she's more straightforward than many.

>170 jessibud2: Hiya, Shelley. I know, it's a shocker with that boy - books and puzzles. Who woulda thunk it. :-)

Actually, I'm a worrier about some things, and you never know. Before our kids were born, I said to Madame MBH, "What if they're not book readers?!" But they loved being read to, and then picked it up themselves.

Our goals for them were #1 to keep them alive (it's surprising how important that one becomes), and for them to be kind, to enjoy reading, and to love to learn. They turned out pretty darn well. We're still working on another goal, to tolerate their parents, but that one may take a while.

>171 NarratorLady: Hi, Anne. I agree with you on that Destiny of the Republic title. They could've done so much better! That's so generic and uninteresting compared to the fascinating contents. Hero of the Empire for her young Churchill book is better, but still not great. Compare Larson's The Splendid and the Vile and Devil in the White City, among others, which are so memorable.

Ha! I love that with Lily: "Tell me the words!" She's going to be a motivated reader, that one. Rafa's good at pointing to and naming animals and colors. He does sit and "read" books, but the audio seems to be incomprehensible nonsense. Maybe it's a language only he knows.

Edited: Jul 8, 9:10am Top

>172 lkernagh: Thanks, Lori!

>173 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deborah. We had such a good time with them. And their mama was happy, which of course is always important. That's precious cargo.

>174 laytonwoman3rd: Ha! Thanks, Linda. Rafa was very good at educating both of us. It took us a while to get some of it. Turns out that jugo naranja (orange juice) is "hoogohahnga" in his world. Once we got it, we wanted him to say it all the time. Reminds me of our daughter calling pajamas "jamahjas". So cute!

Isn't "Banjo" a good one? I have a feeling it will stick, but we'll see.

Edited: Jul 8, 11:12am Top

Puffin landing

By Solanyi Estaban

Jul 8, 11:30am Top

>178 jnwelch: It's all about the angle. What a photo!

Jul 8, 11:37am Top

>178 jnwelch: That is one goofy looking bird!

Jul 8, 2:23pm Top

>178 jnwelch: "Clear the deck! I'm comin' in!"

Jul 8, 4:19pm Top

>178 jnwelch: Reminds me somehow of Gonzo, the Muppet character.

Jul 8, 5:29pm Top

>176 jnwelch: Dear Banjo (Best grandpa name ever!): The Huz received The Splendid and the Vile for Father’s Day and IMO it took him quite a while to finish. He explained that he wanted to savor it. So now it’s my turn!

Jul 9, 7:07am Top

Morning, Joe! I love the grandkiddo photos! So sweet, they are.

Our goals for them were #1 to keep them alive (it's surprising how important that one becomes), and for them to be kind, to enjoy reading, and to love to learn. Yes! We're doing our best to meet those same goals. Right now we're agonizing a bit because #1 and #3 seem to be at odds: If our schools open, do we send him or do we homeschool him this year? I'm leaning sharply toward homeschooling because I can't see how they can keep the students, the teachers, and the staff safe inside the schools.

Edited: Jul 9, 9:20am Top

>179 quondame: Isn't that a great angle for that photo, Susan?

>180 ffortsa: Ha! Agreed, Judy. Actually, standing up I think puffins look pretty cool. But flying - goofy.

>181 laytonwoman3rd: I'd get out of her way, for sure, Linda. :-)

>182 weird_O: I can see the reminder, Bill.

Jul 9, 9:39am Top

>183 NarratorLady: Ha! Rafa saying "Banjo" is about the cutest ever, too, Anne.

You're going to love The Splendid and the Vile. I can understand the Huz taking his time to savor it, but I couldn't have done it. I flew through it; one of those rare NF page-turners. Probably my favorite of the year so far. Enjoy!

>184 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. "So sweet, they are" makes me think you've been hanging out with Yoda again?

I'm glad and not surprised you share those goals for Charlie. It would be so tough to be a parent of school age kids right now. I can understand your leaning toward home schooling. They're still figuring out how to organize the school where Becca teaches. She's a health risk (long story), but even so she hopes to spend a month or so with the kids in person (masked up) before going virtual, if possible. That in-person bond makes such a difference, she feels - teaching virtually went well for her this year because she and the kids were already bonded.

Jesse and Adri sent Rafa back to pre-school. We didn't really get into their thinking, but he's healthy and at lower risk. The teachers all wear masks, and the kids start that way, but from the photos it doesn't last. Social distancing ain't going to happen either. Tough decision. You have my sympathy. I know we'd want ours to go, but also the #1 goal would be to keep them alive. Tough.

Edited: Jul 9, 9:44am Top

Frida Kahlo by Paola de Bogota in Brazil

Jul 9, 11:09am Top

>187 jnwelch: beautiful work Joe. It's a shame it washes away (I assume).

Jul 9, 11:42am Top

>188 Caroline_McElwee: Isn't it, Caroline? They call it a "chalk painting", but I don't know if that means it will stick. I know from our neighborhood that it might - someone used multi-colored chalk-looking paint to create a nice hopscotch diagram (or whatever we call it) that has been looking fresh for years now.

It reminds me of that Ray Bradbury story where Picasso draws a masterpiece on the beach near the water, and then leaves. Those nearby frantically try to dig trenches to save it from the tide coming in, to no avail. Yet another very interesting one from him. These days everyone would be taking photos of it.

Jul 9, 11:49am Top

>186 jnwelch:

Geez, Joe, opening any of the schools is scary.
All it would take is one kid with a grandparent or parent returning from one of the (mostly, now that NYC has improved)
bonkers open-IT-all Southern states...

Just as cheerful...Larry Tye released Demagogue yesterday.

It will likely feature a Banjo ancestor!

Edited: Jul 9, 12:03pm Top

I'm loving The Ten Loves of Mr Nishino by Hiromi Kawakami, the author of the most excellent Strange Weather in Tokyo. I don't know anyone who loves her writing (here translated by Allison Markin Powell) as much as I do. I also love her book covers.

Particularly the ones with a young woman "floating"

Of which The Ten Loves of Mr Nishino is one

Jul 9, 12:02pm Top

>186 jnwelch: It is definitely a rough decision and I don't disparage those who chose otherwise than we are. Parenting is hard at anytime but more than ever now. I'll be keeping Becca in my thoughts for sure this fall, too.

Jul 9, 12:09pm Top

>184 scaifea: My younger son has two daughters in elementary school in South Jersey, and he and his wife are seriously considering homeschooling them. School officials are trying to contrive a workable solution to the viral threat and the approaches that have been floated don't work for their girls.

Jul 9, 12:17pm Top

By the way, Joe, here's your Walken fix for the day.

Jul 9, 12:23pm Top

>190 m.belljackson: Yeah, we know of a school that opened, then closed two weeks later after a kid tested positive. We think that may happen some more when more start opening in the fall.

Demagogue looks good. You're right; Banjo the First (or, at least, JNW the First) will likely make an appearance. One of the weirdest takes on him at the hearing (usually from McCarthy supporters like Ann Coulter) was that his famous exchange with McCarthy had to be rehearsed because it was so eloquent. I see at least two flaws in that. The first is that, how the heck would one do that? Predict what McCarthy would say, and then rehearse your response? He and McCarthy would have had to rehearse it together, which seems unlikely, doesn't it? The second flaw is, the first JNW was just as eloquent in the rest of the hearings (try watching the film Point of Order). As someone pointed out, his rhythm of speech and spontaneous eloquence was just the same throughout. Finally, who cares? It was brilliant and encapsulized for everyone watching McCarthy's ruining of lives through reckless "Commie" accusations. "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

Jul 9, 12:27pm Top

>193 weird_O: Bill: I just can't see that there are *any* workable options, to be honest. By the time a kiddo or staff member tests positive, how many days have they spend in the school with the other staff and students? It's already essentially too late, it seems. Just, no. That doesn't work for us, either.

Hello again, Joe!

Edited: Jul 9, 12:32pm Top

>192 scaifea: Right, Amber. Becca has such mixed feelings about all of it, but she really misses being with the kids. And it's her paycheck. She's working with the school to make it as safe as possible.

>193 weird_O: I can imagine, Bill. What a challenging time we're in, with no help from federal leadership and Donald the Dumbf.

>194 weird_O: As they say at the hair stylist, "We Accept Walkens". He was great in that SNL skit. My favorite is still his being a music producer asking Will Ferrell for "more cowbell!"

>196 scaifea: Hello again Amber! I get it.

Jul 9, 12:39pm Top

>141 jnwelch: I love it!

Love that they're both book readers already and that Rafa loves puzzles. They'll be a couple of smart ones and sounds like they're high-energy too.

I'll be thinking of Becca while teaching whether virtually or in person in the fall, too. That's gotta be such a tough decision. I don't have any kids to be thinking of, but I can't imagine the challenge that parents are going to have - especially if working outside the home - regarding school in the fall, and the challenges of school administration trying to make those tough calls. I'm glad I'm not in a position to decide, honestly. Even at the library, while most people have been very happy with and gracious about curbside service, we have some patrons unhappy they can't walk in and act like everything's normal. We most likely won't have full service again until there's a vaccine, and some people are not going to like that answer.

Jul 9, 12:46pm Top

If anyone would say your grandpa's famous words to t-Rump, he wouldn't understand that three-syllable word anyhow. He'd have to look it up in the dictionary. Which he doesn't own and wouldn't know how to use. Yet, let's just pretend:

It was brilliant and encapsulized for everyone watching McCarthy's ruining of lives through reckless "Commie" accusations. "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

Replace *McCarthy* with *t-Rump*, and *Commie* with *covid*. For sure, he would start to talk about some statues somewhere, to divert and deflect, about the only thing he is actually good at.


Jul 9, 12:48pm Top

>195 jnwelch:

This week's The Capital Times features a chilling excerpt from Demagogue detailing
how McCarthy defeated the son of Wisconsin icon "Fighting Bob."

It touches on, but does not truly explain, how Wisconsin could and still can
(Tammy Baldwin and Mark Pocan vs. Ron Johnson and Scott Walker)
produce polar opposites.

(Larry Tye could keep going, with a title like:
"How America Undermined Itself, from The Demagogue to The Dictator.")

Jul 9, 1:18pm Top

It's less than a minute, you might enjoy this Joe...


Jul 9, 1:52pm Top

Today’s Bargain: Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes on Kindle for $1.99. Great Viet Nam war novel.

Edited: Jul 9, 3:41pm Top

>189 jnwelch: remember well that Ray Bradbury story about the guy who happens on old Picasso noodling on the beach with a Popsicle stick in the sand.

My recollection of the story is that the narrator looks at the work, thinks frantically on how how could he save the sand sculpture and at the end realizes that the best thing to do is to stand there and drink it in until the tide washed it all away

"IN a Season of Calm Weather" it was called

Jul 10, 6:54am Top

>202 jnwelch: Hooray for Matterhorn! Such a great novel.

Morning, Joe. Happy Friday. 2 more work days and I am outta here for a week. Looking forward to it. I hope WI is a bit cooler than here. The books are keeping me good company in this heat. I just started the audio of With the Fire on High, which I think you also enjoyed. i know we both loved The Poet X. Enjoy your day.

Jul 10, 9:07am Top

>204 msf59: Morning, Mark. Matterhorn! Agreed.

It's got to be cooler in Wisconsin, right? Cooler by the lake, and cooler in Wisconsin. I'm glad you'll be getting a bit of a break. Today should be better temp-wise - but rain. I suspect at this point you'd welcome the rain.

Yeah, I loved With the Fire on High, and tried to make a big deal about it. The Poet X was great, too, and may have been the one that sparked the discussion about writing novels in verse. I just finished her new one, Clap When You Land. I need to find time for some reviews!

>198 bell7: Hiya, Mary. Yeah, it's fun to see these two grow. Rafa is curious about everything, and Fina's looking around all the time, too. Seeing/hearing Rafa acquire two languages has been fascinating. Nowadays he'll sometimes use both in the same sentence. Love it! And Fina is so darn strong. She has a bouncy chair in which she can work out her legs, and her dad says he has to give her an hour in it or she gets mad at him.

Oops, you got me started. Next Debbi will show you her favorite photos and short videos of them. :-)

On sending kids to school now, she said last night that she's glad we didn't have this pandemic going on when it was time to send the kids to college. It was hard enough to let go without worrying about the pandemic on campus.

I was at our library yesterday, and made sure to thank them for their precautions. There are still so many fewer "customers" there than I'm used to. Someone complaining that things aren't back to normal is a spoiled, entitled American. You can learn a lot about people in a crisis.

Jul 10, 9:16am Top

>205 jnwelch: - You can learn a lot about people in a crisis.

Yesterday, I found a couple of those covid humour things. One read:

"It took *Click it or ticket* to get people to wear a seat belt. I wonder if *Mask it or casket* might work." (attributed to Donald Ray Whatley).

And another: "Corona Virus explained in craft terms: You and 9 friends are crafting. 1 is using glitter. How many projects have glitter"

'Nuff said. I also posted a really well-done youtube video on my thread, about the science of wearing masks, made visible. It ought to be compulsory viewing, in my humble opinion.

Jul 10, 9:25am Top

>199 jessibud2: I join your sigh, Shelley. Drumpf and Tucker Carlson are busy trying to divert and deflect again, with Carlson accusing combat veteran Tammy Duckworth of "hating America", and Trump supporting. She only lost both her legs defending our country, idiots, and then became a Senator. Poor Lt. Col. Vindman retired because of Trump's trying to ruin his career for testifying in the impeachment hearing.

>200 m.belljackson: Yikes, Marianne. I sure don't understand Wisconsin, Marianne. Beautiful state with crazy politics. Like so many Chicagoans, I love visiting there, but living there might drive me nuts.

>201 Caroline_McElwee: Wow, Benedict Cumberbatch is amazing at that, Caroline. Not only good at imitations, but quick! The Michael Caine was probably my favorite, but they were all funny. Thanks for the link.

>203 magicians_nephew: Thanks, Jim. I'm glad you remember the Picasso story, too, and found the "In a Season of Calm Weather" title. I may revisit that one.

Bradbury was so good. We just watched a movie called "The Book Shop", with Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighey, and Nighey plays a recluse who asks Mortimer to pick out books for him from her shop. She hits a home run with Bradbury, and soon Nighey wants to read all of his.

Another Bradbury story I remember particularly well is "The Veldt", with the children experiencing a virtual jungle simulation that gets more and more realistic. Yikes!

Jul 10, 9:29am Top

>206 jessibud2: Good ones! Thanks, Shelley. And I'll come over to watch that science video about wearing masks.

The humour is what's gotten me through the Trump presidency. Borowitz, the Onion, Keith Taylor and others have made it bearable. That we can even have a sense of humour about the covid-19 pandemic says a lot.

Jul 10, 9:29am Top

'Morning, Joe! You skipped me 'way back at >167 karenmarie:, but I persevere. *smile*

I'm not a fan of Will Farrell, but 'Cow Bell' reminded me of a fun compilation of Christopher Walken dancing: Christopher Walken Dance Now

I hope you have had a good week so far and best wishes for a good weekend.

Jul 10, 9:30am Top

As Darry Morris (kidzdoc) says, this could also apply to laundry.

Jul 10, 9:32am Top

>167 karenmarie:, >209 karenmarie: Thanks for letting me know, Karen! I've gotta run, but promise to come back and respond to both. :-)

Jul 10, 9:56am Top

Someone complaining that things aren't back to normal is a spoiled, entitled American. You can learn a lot about people in a crisis.

Thanks for this - it is helpful to reframe some of the more outlandish responses we're getting. I felt terrible for a woman yesterday who called in and was just so sad that she couldn't come in and use a computer - we are how she checks her email. She was clearly disappointed, but gracious, about it and while asking if I knew of anywhere she could go said, "This is why the library is so important to the community!" Truly, most of the responses have shown an increase in library love.

Also, feel free to go on and on with the grandbaby stories haha. I love kids, and the infant-to-toddler age is one I am especially amazed at watching such little ones grow and learn so fast. My niece is a little bit older, but she called me last night to find out about what part of the flower has pollen on it, and it just made my day.

Jul 10, 11:04am Top

>212 bell7: Smart parent to say, "Let's call your aunt!"

So, well, tough couple days and still tired from a marathon cyber-handholding with Rob. New thread. Scary newly identified symptom of COVID-19: High blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, possibility of stroke and/or heart-attack like symptoms. Since both my parents died after strokes....

I'mma try to weekend now.

Edited: Jul 10, 1:44pm Top

>167 karenmarie: Ah, okay, Karen. You squeezed in while I was posting. Usually I catch those, but not always. Sorry about that. We love "Banjo", too. We had come up with "Tampa", the nickname of one of my grandfathers. But Rafa never got that one - Bubbe was easy and perfect, and that one he got immediately. As you say, we like Banjo even more for his having come up with it.

I do like "Kayma". Good luck with reading Hamilton. I saw that there's a book for $1.99, on Kindle today and maybe other e-readers, called I Eliza Hamilton, by Susan Holloway Scott. It got good critical reaction and looked like it might be a fun way to connect with the Hamilton story.

>209 karenmarie: Thanks for sticking with it and letting me know, Karen. I never intentionally skip anyone, but with so many posts, and RL not stopping for LT, it sometimes happens.

I love that Christopher Walken dance video! He's amazingly talented. Thanks for the link.

I probably like Will Farrell more than you do, but he's had his bombs. We just watched "Eurovision" the other night, and it's one of his really good ones. Rachel McAdams is so charming in it. Our DIL is a Eurovision (the yearly song contest) enthusiast, and organized a Facebook Eurovision contest with the contenders that were identified before the pandemic cancellation. We had a blast with it, and topped it off with a group (scattered locales) viewing of the movie and running commentary. So fun.

Our Eurovision winner was "Uno Uno Dos Quatro" from the hilarious Russian band Little Big. You probably haven't seen one like this before: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_dWvTCdDQ4 I sure hadn't.

We have had a good week, thanks. I hope you enjoy your weekend, too.

Edited: Jul 10, 1:48pm Top

>212 bell7: I'm glad that was helpful, Mary. I do feel sorry for the woman who wanted to use the library computers to get her emails. Our library has gone to much more limited computer use, with social distancing, but she'd have been able to use one. Only one person in a book aisle at a time, too, among other things. It was actually kind of pleasant with fewer people and staying separated. Truly, most of the responses have shown an increase in library love. I can easily believe it. That's what I was seeing, although I'm sure they've had their share of grumps.

I love the story about your niece. As RD says, your sister (right?) and her hubby were smart to send her to you. I was just saying to Madame MBH that we're all in trouble when Rafa enters that "Why? Why?" to everything stage.

>213 richardderus: Oh man, sorry to hear that with the covid, Richard. Last I knew you weren't showing symptoms. Sending lots of healthy vibes your way.

Cyber-handholding with Rob sounds like a good thing, but I can imagine it being exhausting while you're feeling lousy. I hope you have a comfortable, relaxing weekend with some good books to help divert you.

Edited: Jul 10, 3:13pm Top

>208 jnwelch: Those and Randy Rainbow. He's stellar.

>214 jnwelch: Strange and funny video, for sure.

Jul 10, 4:46pm Top

>214 jnwelch: HA!!!

>215 jnwelch: He just made me cry..."I dreaded facing my life until you came and held me up"

Still schnerkling

Jul 10, 5:43pm Top

>215 jnwelch: Yup, you got the relationship right. It was my youngest sister (her Tia) who called, so I'm not sure who's idea it was to ask me, but I loved it. She's in the midst of the "Why? Why?" stage and I told her mom it was payback for hers because she would ask. So. Much. I just... love me some curious kids lol, plus I'm not the mom, so that makes a difference.

Jul 11, 1:19pm Top

>216 quondame: Right you are, Susan, for sure. Add the hilarious Randy Rainbow in there.

I'm told you can go into a "black hole" with Little Big songs on Youtube; their strangeness and funniness can be addictive, apparently. I haven't tried it yet. That Eurovision one is a hoot. The dance move (what synchrony!) is called "jelly legs", which I hadn't heard of before.

>217 richardderus: That's a very sweet thing Rob said, Richard. He appreciates you. I can understand your schnerkling.

>218 bell7: I thought so. Thanks, Mary. Ha! I love the "Why? Why?" payback to her mom, who was the same when little. We're getting a kick out of Rafa alarming his dad with his physical derring-do, after his dad did that all the time to us.

Jul 12, 9:24am Top

Morning, Joe. Happy Sunday. We will be shoving off shortly for WI. We will spend a few days in Eau Claire, with friends and then onto Rhinelander, to hang out with more friends. Hoping for hiking, some birding and plenty of relaxing, which will of course, involve refreshments. The other thing that may suffer, is my book reading, which I will try to squeeze in whenever I can. I am really enjoying The Virgin Suicides and my audio, The New Jim Crow.

Lets set up a visit, once I come back.

Jul 12, 10:27am Top

>220 msf59: Happy Sunday, Mark. Have a great time up there in the yonderland. I don't know Rhinelander, but I'm sure it's beautiful. Sounds like an ideal menu - hiking, birding, relaxing and beverages. Enjoy!

I'm one of the few who didn't enjoy Middlesex, so I'm not a Eugenides fan. But I'm glad The Virgin Suicides is a hit with you, and I'll look forward to hearing about The New Jim Crow.

I just finished Deacon King Kong, and LOVED it. I enjoyed it much more than I expected. I know that was a favorite with you, too.

A visit is a good idea. Looking forward to it.

Jul 12, 10:28am Top

Rafa and Fina in the "pelota tren" that Rafa built (train of balls).

Edited: Jul 12, 11:05am Top

I'm going to try to do some quick reviews today of books I've liked recently.

As I mentioned to Mark, I LOVED Deacon King Kong by James McBride, the author of The Color of Water and The Good Lord Bird. Five stars.

Sportcoat is an elderly but still vital man also known as Deacon King Kong, because he's a deacon at the local church and loves to drink King Kong, a potent bootleg drink. It's 1969, in a NYC housing project. McBride fills the story with a large cast of colorful characters - Deems, the baseball pitching sensation who now runs the project's drug deals at age 19; Hot Sausage, Sportcoat's close buddy and fellow King Kong enthusiast; Sister Gee, still turning heads at 50, including that of white Officer Potts, and Elefante, an Italian organized crime headman who lives with his mother, won't sell drugs, and wants only to find a large "country girl" to live with in peace in the countryside.

Sportcoat lost his wife Hettie a short while ago, and still talks to her all the time. While drunk, he confronts drug dealer Deems in a way that endangers his life. How he manages to blithely evade his pursuers made me laugh. Many of the characters, including Sportcoat, have big hearts, and a lot to say about living full black (and brown) lives in America. By the end, the depth of Sportcoat's wisdom, happiness and strength becomes evident, and the finish fits beautifully.

Jul 12, 11:36am Top

Just a quick *wave*, Banjo.

When my older son was small and he was talking about himself in relation to my sister, he referred to himself as her 'peerfume' (that's not a spelling mistake). Ten or more years down the road, he's long grown out of it (plus one rarely refers to oneself in the third person) but my sister was tickled by it and we still use it between ourselves when we're talking about the boys.

Jul 12, 12:32pm Top

>222 jnwelch: Love it, and the ones above it.

>223 jnwelch: Adding to my list Joe.

Jul 12, 12:53pm Top

>222 jnwelch: Heh! So cute!

>223 jnwelch: As I already have that one on library hold, I'm not book-bulleted. I am, however, made even more eager for it to come into my queue.

Weekend orisons, Joe.

Jul 12, 2:27pm Top

>224 humouress: Banjo waves back, Nina. I love "peerfume" - they must've gotten along well? We still use Becca's "jamajas" to refer to pajamas.

I really enjoy the third person stage. Rafa never says "I" - it's always Rafa. And while here, he loved to identify himself and who he was with while pointing - e.g, "Bubbe, Banjo, Fina and Rafa."

>225 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. We had a wonderful two weeks with those two and their papa. Like what I hear with women and pregnancy, forgetting the pain and being okay with having another kid, I've already forgotten how exhausted we were. I told Jesse, any time.

Oh, great! I can't wait to hear what you think of Deacon King Kong. What a storyteller. It just doesn't let up.

>226 richardderus: Thanks, buddy. Oh, I hope you enjoy Deacon King Kong as much as I did. I liked it even more than Black Leopard, Red Wolf, and that Marlon James can spin a tale.

I love the word "orisons". Thank you for sharing it. I don't know anyone else who uses it. Weekend orisons to you, too, Richard.

Edited: Jul 12, 2:53pm Top

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner, a debut novel, is a treat for Janeites (not "Austenites" as I sometimes call them!) It's set in the village of Chawton in Hampshire, England after WWII. Enthusiasts would venture to see this area in which JA lived and wrote (as did Madame MBH and I did many years later), but there was nothing organized there and no museum. Chawton House, where she spent her last eight years and saw all of her books published (some written before moving there) is at risk of being purchased by developers.

Adeline, a young widow who lost her husband late in the war, banters Austen-like with Dr. Gray, a reticent (with her) fellow Austen enthusiast who is attracted but thinks he's too old for her. They're joined by five other locals (well, one not so local) from unlikely backgrounds, hoping to save Chawton House and turn it into the museum it is today. Among others, there is a quiet, shy farmer, a Hollywood movie star, and a chipper teenager. They all trade quotes from Austen's books like enthusiasts quote Star Wars today, and you end up rooting for all of them to sort out their dissatisfying lives and, for some, find Austen-worthy romance.

I think those who who haven't read Austen would like this book, but those who have read her will enjoy it that much more.

Edited: Jul 12, 3:20pm Top

Mark and Ellen both loved Sabrina and Corina, and I couldn't resist joining them. This is yet another exception to my avoidance of short story collections; thanks to Ted Chiang and others, the exceptions threaten to outnumber the rule.

These are vividly realistic stories about Latina women living in Denver and southern Colorado, dealing with racism and poverty, and accompanying issues like drug addiction. They're not really "downers"; there's hope and persistence and resistance. In one, Josie becomes a mother at 16, and may no longer be able to handle raising now 10 year old Sierra. In the title story, one cousin, Sabrina, is spectacularly beautiful and has high hopes, but the lack of opportunities drive her to drugs and promiscuity. Corina, plainer, tries to keep her cousin from completely going off the rails, while going to beauty school and trying to establish her own life. Other stories show the holes in our supposed social safety nets. In one, when a mother contracts breast cancer, there are no good options. Her husband's insurance doesn't cover worthwhile treatments, and he can't leave his job to help care for her. What they end up doing is a sad commentary on healthcare in this country.

This excellent collection is piercing, but never unhopeful.

Jul 12, 3:35pm Top

>229 jnwelch: I live in dread of the day I pick up a comic book and realize "I have read more than two of these this month" with a mouth-drying pit-sweating foreboding.

I relate, in other words.

Jul 12, 3:44pm Top

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo is a return to the free verse form she used in her first YA title, Poet X, which ran away with the National Book Award and a Carnegie Medal. With the Fire on High, in traditional novel form, was another success, and still shows up on YA bestseller lists. Clap When You Land is very good, and doing well, but for me it came in a bit below the first two.

Camino Rios lives with her aunt in the Dominican Republic, and looks forward every year to her father's return from NYC, where he makes money for the family. When he dies in a plane crash, she learns he had a second family in NYC, and she has a sister, Yahaira Rios.

The story is inspired by the 2001 crash of a plane headed to the DR that "rocked {the author's} community" and saw "secrets come out." The feeling out of the sisters' new relationship and the stark differences, but interconnectedness, between the two communities is well-handled. Fans of this author's work will want to pick this one up and devour it.

Jul 12, 3:48pm Top

>230 richardderus: Ha! Thanks, Richard. Book disorientation loves company.

Jul 12, 3:57pm Top

>231 jnwelch: I heard about that crash! I don't quite think I'm up to free verse at novel length this incarnation, but I warmly approve the subject matter.

>232 jnwelch:

Jul 12, 4:04pm Top

Jul 12, 6:16pm Top

Today’s Bargain: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier on Kindle for $1.99.

Jul 12, 8:10pm Top

Hi Joe! Such cute pictures of Rafa and Fina.

I, too, am glad I don't have to parent during the pandemic. We have a young neighbor due to go off to college this fall, and it's been super hard on her and her family.

Yesterday, 3:25am Top

I am just squeaking in before your *next* new thread!

I love your top images! I bought a Japanese comic book, set in ancient Egypt, for the interesting images. I will probably make some greeting cards with them...

>210 jnwelch: aaaah, the ever-present Mount Dishes! My eldest has to do the dishes precisely once a week as one of his pocket money jobs- and you would think I was asking him to grate his fingers on the cheese grater and pour salt on them! Sheesh, the complaints!! lol

Yesterday, 8:52am Top

>236 banjo123: Hi Rhonda! Thanks re the cuties.

Yeah, what a tough time to parent, right? I will say I see a lot of parents doing it well. But the pandemic decisions, yikes. I can imagine going off to college is super hard on your young neighbor and her family. And then there's the question of whether it'll really happen. What if it has to be virtual?

>237 LovingLit: Nice job of squeaking, Megan. Thanks re the top images! Who's your Japanese comic book illustrator? Nice idea to make greeting cards with the images.

Ha! I remember, as a kid, thinking that things I do today routinely (like taking out the garbage) were severe impositions on my "me time" - and all time was "me time" when I was a teen in particular. Not to mention that everything that adults did was boring. How did my parents put up with me? We found our son (our sweet, delightful son) got much more tolerable in his 20s. But we'd give a lot to have every moment along the way bottled and visitable. What a mixed-up business parenting is, isn't it.

Yesterday, 8:55am Top

Monday again? Wait...shouldn't this be 2022?

Edited: Yesterday, 9:01am Top

>239 richardderus: It is 2022, Richard. Everything you think you've been experiencing was a bad dream. Everyone in 2022 wakes up with a song in their heart, eager to start the day. Have those carrot cake pancakes and give a sigh of relief.

Edited: Yesterday, 9:07am Top

Yesterday, 3:29pm Top

>237 LovingLit: >238 jnwelch: I have never been able to shed my reluctance to engage the everyday weight of life. The resulting mess is, in fact, considerable, but mine.

>239 richardderus: >240 jnwelch: Just so. I'm here hoping I get to wake up in 2022.

Yesterday, 8:16pm Top

>241 jnwelch: Oooooh, lovely.

Hope all is well with you, and I too would love to wake up in 2022 ;)

Yesterday, 8:53pm Top

A fast forward button would be good so that we can get to 2022 faster.

Today, 9:29am Top

*sigh* despite this being the eighty-fourth month of my captivity, I mean quarantine, the stupid calendar insists it's Bastille Day 2020. I dissent from this decision. Where do I file my appeal?

Edited: Today, 9:59am Top

>242 quondame:. I like your clear eyesight and self-knowledge, Susan. I’m torn between wanting to read and write and drink coffee, and wanting to pick up the everyday weight of life, console and polish it, and put it on a shelf of my choosing. Meanwhile, it not only has weight, it has a mind of its own. So I end up somewhere in between.

I have a poem about that somewhere. I’ll try to dig it out.

Yeah, I never wish away time, but this is a tough year to reside in. 2022 sounds good to me.

>243 bell7:. Isn’t >241 jnwelch: lovely, Mary? A picnic right there would be a fine thing. Meet you here in 2022.:-)

>244 Familyhistorian:. I know, Meg. Let’s skip the commercials, too.

>245 richardderus:. Right, Richard. Wife and daughter are calling it the 3042d day of March, which in their view never ended. I saw a humorist say that Drumpf wants to create a Supremer Court, but that won’t help. Are there still gods and goddesses on Mytika Peak?

Today, 10:49am Top

Hi Joe!

>214 jnwelch: I loved that video – what a riot. Thanks for sharing.

My Crepe Myrtles are blooming so it can’t be March, but it sure as hell feels like we’re in a time warp.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2020

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